Banner advertising is
not as effective as it used to be as people have gotten used to
ignore banners on web pages. The click-through rate for
banners has dropped from 1-2% during the height of their popularity
to around 0.2% today. This means that a banner has to be shown
about 500 times to get one click.
Banner exchange programs have become less popular as a result of the
decline in banner effectiveness. With an typical exchange
ratio of 2:1 (# times you display other people's banners : # times
your banner gets shown) and a click-through rate of 0.2%, your site
would have to display a thousand banners from other sites to get one
visitor. This is not even considering the potential for
cheating by site owners who use automated pages and programs to
artificially inflate credits for their site.
That said, banner
exchange can still be a worthwhile way to increase traffic if
you are can design and target your banners effectively. When
looking for a program to join, pay attention to the program's
exchange ratio, targeting options, statistics reporting, and
commitment to catching cheaters. Ideally, you'd want to
join a program that offers the highest exchange ratio, but even a
1:1 ratio is useless if people can get away accumulating credits by
showing banners on a page that reloads automatically. Look for
companies that check (manually or otherwise) member sites regularly
to ensure fair play.
Here are some major banner
exchange programs in existence:
- Our free banner exchange program offers a generous
4:3 ratio, one of the best in the world! Plus,
get 1000 free credits when you sign up.
Features category targeting, fraud monitoring, and a
referral program that rewards you 1000 credits for
LinkBuddies is one of the largest and oldest
free banner exchanges on the web. Offers 2:1 ratio
and tons of features. You can get lots of traffic
information for your site (e.g. traffic and visitor
profiling, visitor behavior, etc.) just by
LinkBuddies banner like the one below. You can
earn referral credits by referring other people to
the program and even redeem unused credits for cash.
- Allows you to rotate up to 10 banners. Offers 4:3
ratio and click-through rewards, referral credits
and targeting by category and hours. Boasts a
built-in cheater scan.
- Although the network seems be in operation, there
appears to be no way for new customers to sign up.
Owned by Microsoft, this used to be the largest
banner exchange in the world. It offers a 2:1
exchange ratio, banner creator, and targeting
options. We cannot recommend LinkExchange at this
time because the site is not working properly. For
some reason our banners are not being displayed
despite the large number of credits we have
accumulated. Additionally, we get an error message
every time we try to upload a new banner.